Human Nutrition

Examines a whole foods approach to nutrition along with an understanding of the chemical and biochemical properties of food and their interactions within the body. Considers the political, social and environmental influences of the foods we choose to eat. Designed to help students focus on their own eating practices and evaluate those in relationship to sustainable practices.

Watershed Ecosystems Analysis

The course will provide students with an understanding of the ecological, social, and political aspects of a watershed. Combining a study of stream ecology and land use, we will gain a better understanding of the multifaceted ecosystems within a watershed and our relationship to these ecosystems. Throughout the course, we will read and discuss watershed issues, as well as collect and analyze biological and cultural resources field data. Each student will participate in the Black River Bioassessment, resulting in a comprehensive written report.

Agroecology

This course examines the ecological foundations of sustainable agriculture practice to foster an understanding of the management and design of sustainable agroecosystems. Using a whole-system and multi-disciplinary approach students will analyze and design agricultural systems both locally and globally while considering the triple bottom line. It includes an overview of sustainable agriculture practices both historic and modern.

Literature of the Rural Experience

Like their urban counterparts, rural areas have historically been a nexus of cultural intersection-places where migrants and immigrants have come for work, farming the land, mining resources, harvesting timber, and thereby creating new lives, as well as places where urban dwellers seek recreation and refuge from city life.  Such intersections have given rise both to tensions (between native and newcomer, tradition and change, different class and cultural values) and to vibrant and diverse communities.  This course considers how people from different backgrounds have responded to rural living, as well as how literature has both reflected and shaped rural cultures.How do stories, poems, songs, and films represent both what is unique and what is universal about rural experiences? Looking at images of rural life in literature will enable us to examine the influence that literature has had on the ways we understand and interact with rural communities, as well as the role that literature (particularly story and music) plays in rural lives. This course satisfies three credits of a students writing-intensive requirement.

Introduction to Cultural Ecology

This course is an exploration of the diversity of cultures and their relationship with the natural world.  For over a million years human beings have co-evolved with the landscapes they inhabit, resulting in a positive re-enforcing feedback loop in which the natural world influences the development of people and, in turn, people influence the natural world.  The human species is unique in that it has colonized every major biome of the Earth, creating complex lifeways and perceptions of reality.  Using examples of peoples from around the world, we will explore definitions and origins of culture and civilization, particularly in relation to place.  We investigate concepts such as material culture, social structure, economics, language and migration. Students will also be introduced to investigative methods in the fields of cultural anthropology and human geography.

Papermaking/Book Arts in Place (ST)

This special topics course will examine the place of papermaking in an increasingly paperless (and placeless) culture. The creation of handmade paper from a variety of locally gathered materials is central to this course, which will be rounded out by ancillary forays into papermaking’s history, traditions, underlying science, and artistic possibilities. Students will learn the techniques involved with papermaking: Including pulp preparation, basic sheet formation, coloring, sizing, pressing and drying. The course will also focus on the construction of artists’ books. Learning various binding techniques will allow students to design and create a short artist’s book illustrating their concept of place.

Independent Study in Humanities

Independent studies are available to students who have completed 45 credits. Advised by full-time faculty, these provide students the opportunity to pursue in more depth a focused topic not otherwise available in the curriculum. Independent studies may be proposed at the 200, 300, or 400 level for between 1 and 12 credits. Independent studies go through a rigorous approval process and must meet specific criteria in order to be approved. Proposals for independent studies of two or more credits must be approved the prior semester. Proposals for independent studies of one credit will be considered until the first day of an intensive session or the first week of a long-block session. For more details about the independent study proposal process, see the online submission form.

Please note that independent study is not available for topics already offered through classes.

Stories and Storytelling

People of Northern communities have relied on the telling and retelling of stories to transmit significant cultural understandings such as cosmology, ecology, spirituality and social norms. This course will examine the ways in which cultures of the North have used oral narratives throughout time and what functions such narratives serve today in the modern world. Traveling across the top of the world, we will become familiar with a variety of cultural groups who inhabit northern places and come to understand how geography has shaped both identity and the art of storytelling. We will read, listen, watch and share our own stories as we dive deeper into oral traditions. This course will culminate with an original production for the Sterling community.

College Teaching Experience: A Sense of Place

Entails serving as a teaching assistant in a course previously completed with a satisfactory grade. Introduces strategies for the planning, preparation, presentation, and evaluation required for teaching at the college level. Students work with the faculty member teaching the class to develop a detailed plan for participation in the teaching of the class prior to the beginning of the semester in which the course is offered. This course may be repeated once if serving as a teaching assistant in a different course.

Marine Natural History of the North Atlantic (Global Field Study)

This field-based course is an exploration of marine environments with emphasis on the North Atlantic. We begin with an introduction to oceanographic topics such as sea floor spreading, wave dynamics, ocean currents and tides, and general marine ecology. We progress to a survey of marine algae and invertebrate phyla, and culminate with a treatment of marine vertebrates with a focus on sea birds and marine mammals. This course combines lectures and discussions with intensive field activities such as sea kayaking, tidepooling, and offshore excursions.

Advanced Independent Study in Applied Science

Independent studies are available to students who have completed 45 credits. Advised by full-time faculty, these provide students the opportunity to pursue in more depth a focused topic not otherwise available in the curriculum. Independent studies may be proposed at the 200, 300, or 400 level for between 1 and 12 credits. Independent studies go through a rigorous approval process and must meet specific criteria in order to be approved. Proposals for independent studies of two or more credits must be approved the prior semester. Proposals for independent studies of one credit will be considered until the first day of an intensive session or the first week of a long-block session. For more details about the independent study proposal process, see the online submission form.

Please note that independent study is not available for topics already offered through classes.

College Teaching Experience

Entails serving as a teaching assistant in a course previously completed with a satisfactory grade. Introduces strategies for the planning, preparation, presentation, and evaluation required for teaching at the college level. Students work with the faculty member teaching the class to develop a detailed plan for participation in the teaching of the class prior to the beginning of the semester in which the course is offered. This course may be repeated once if serving as a teaching assistant in a different course.